EU Commission invests EUR 16 billion over next two years for research and innovation
The European Commission will invest almost EUR 16 billion in research and innovation in the next two years under Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation funding scheme, following a new Work Programme for 2016-17 adopted on October 13, 2015
The new funding opportunities offered by the Work Programme are directly aligned with the policy priorities of the Commission of President Jean-Claude Juncker and will substantially contribute to the Jobs, Growth and Investment Package, the Digital Single Market, Energy Union and Climate change policy, Internal Market with stronger industry and making Europe a stronger global actor.
Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation said: “Research and innovation are the engines of Europe’s progress and vital to addressing today’s new pressing challenges like immigration, climate change, clean energy and healthy societies. Over the next two years, EUR 16 billion from Horizon 2020 will support Europe’s top scientific efforts, making the difference to citizens’ lives.”
In line with Commissioner Moedas’ strategic priorities, Horizon 2020 will be open to innovation, open to science, and open to the world. The new Work Programme 2016-17 offers funding opportunities through a range of calls for proposals, public procurements and other actions like the Horizon Prizes, together covering nearly 600 topics. The programme’s structure is a reflection of the overall flexibility of Horizon 2020 which focuses on the EU’s long-term priorities and the most pressing societal challenges while allowing it to swiftly address emerging problems such as outbreaks of diseases.
The programme will support a range of cross-cutting initiatives: the modernisation of Europe’s manufacturing industry (EUR 1 billion); technologies and standards for automatic driving (over EUR 100 million); the Internet of Things (EUR 139 million) to address digitalisation of EU industries; Industry 2020 in the Circular Economy (EUR 670 million) to develop strong and sustainable economies; and Smart and Sustainable Cities (EUR 232 million) to better integrate environmental, transport, energy and digital networks in EU’s urban environments.
In addition, at least EUR 8 million in funding will be available for research on security of EU’s external borders to help identify and prevent human trafficking and smuggling; EUR 27 million for the new technologies to help prevent crime and terrorism as well as EUR 15 million for research into the origin and impact of migration flows in Europe. The new Work Programme will also build on successes in health research, such as the Ebola-related breakthrough discoveries already supported by Horizon 2020, by investing EUR 5 million to respond to the critical outbreak of the damaging olive-tree pest Xylella fastidiosa.
The new Work Programme is also set on improving the impact of Horizon 2020 funding. First, it will ensure more money is available for innovative companies thanks to new leveraging opportunities supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), in addition to over EUR 740 million dedicated to support research and innovation activities in nearly 2000 SMEs, small and medium enterprises. More will also be done to improve synergies with other EU funding programmes, as stressed by President Juncker in his State of the Union speech, as well as support researchers in their applications with clearer guidance and impact criteria.